May 29, 2019

6 Signs You Need to Change Your IT Managed Service Provider

by: Katie Sloane

Organizations that partner with IT Managed Service Providers (MSPs) experience numerous benefits across flexibility, reduced IT spend and predictable budgets, scalability, security and more. Outsourcing to IT experts enables businesses to focus on mission-critical projects and revenue-generating programs while eliminating daily disruptions and technological issues.

However, not all MSPs are created equal. If you have some concerns about whether your IT partner is hindering business growth, here are six signs that it might be time to transition to another provider.

1. Lack of Communication

Growing overwhelmed by IT issues and unsure who to contact at your MSP? Alternatively, are you always having to reach out to IT support for help but are shuffled around to different people every time?

Your MSP should provide you with a direct point of contact to answer all your questions. Furthermore, if a problem arises, you should know about it beforehand and not have to contact them about an issue.

We recommend seeking an IT partner that offers both a dedicated account manager and 24/7/365 help desk to eliminate poor communication future-forward.

2. Weak Project Management Skills

The right IT partner will efficiently and seamlessly manage projects, keep stakeholders abreast of significant updates and be transparent with your team. If their communication is sporadic and is not meeting expectations, their project management skills most likely are sub-par as well.

3. Ticket Numbers are Growing

A reliable, proactive Managed IT Service Provider will not only promptly respond to service tickets, but also reduce the number of tickets over time.

Your MSP should be applying and recommending solutions to mitigate IT issues and eliminate the same problems from occurring again.

4. Your IT Spend is Unmanageable

Inundated with inflated and unanticipated IT bills from your provider? Are you drastically exceeding your budget? If you responded “yes” to either of these questions, then it may be time to reconsider your MSP.

When evaluating an alternative provider, look for a company that offers predictable IT spending, so you can feel confident that you’ll stay within your budget and stabilize expenditures. 

5. You’ve Outgrown your IT Partner

Does your MSP invest in and enhance their services to ensure they are providing you with cutting-edge, innovative solutions? Your provider should identify legacy IT that is hindering productivity from the onset and recommend appropriate, advanced solutions. Additionally, leading Managed IT Service Providers enable business growth for clients and reduce IT complexities.

Perhaps your current MSP does not have the bandwidth to meet your support needs or accommodate rapid changes. Whatever the reason, if your provider can no longer keep up with your evolving business needs, they may be doing more harm than good. 

6. Unconfident in Your MSP’s Security Measures

Has your MSP conducted vulnerability assessments, recognized gaps and designed a remediation strategy to keep your business data and assets secure? Companies that lack robust cybersecurity programs increase their chances of falling victim to a data breach or experiencing a cyber-attack that could have easily been prevented.

Best-in-class MSPs equip clients with the expertise, education, governance and technology that’s required to defend against today’s sophisticated threat landscape. We recommend considering a provider that offers a comprehensive suite of cybersecurity compliance and risk management services to keep your employees and customer data safeguarded and uncompromised.

Some of the top services you should look for include but are not limited to, security awareness training, penetration testing, 24x7x365 monitoring, Virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO), risk management as a service and more.

Next Steps

If you’ve encountered any of the above red flags, you should consider changing your IT MSP. When evaluating potential providers, it’s critical that businesses perform adequate due diligence to avoid any unpleasant surprises and approach the decision cycle with structure.

Our article, “IT Due Diligence Checklist for Evaluating Managed Service Providers,” can help you find the ideal IT MSP that meets your current and future business needs.

Learn how Align’s award-winning IT Managed Services can bring value to your firm while unlocking business growth. Contact us here.

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“Align is our trusted provider for all our Managed Services and cybersecurity needs. They provide us best-in-class IT services that not only help drive productivity and growth, but ensure we meet both current and evolving compliance and security requirements with ease. As consultants to financial advisors, trust and reliability are indispensable to our operations, which is why we never hesitate to refer Align to our very own client base. Align isn’t just our partner, they are an extension of our team. We look forward to entrusting them with our IT infrastructure for years to come.”

Ed Fasano - Experienced Advisory Consultants LLC